Plans for a Royal Mint-issued NFT are not moving forward “at this time”, but the proposal remains under review.
In April 2022, the UK Treasury announced its plans to launch a government-backed non-fungible token (NFT) as part of cementing the United Kingdom as a global crypto hub.
Now, such plans are cancelled – for the time being.
First proposed by UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, at the time he was chancellor two years ago, the pro-crypto politician had tasked the Royal Mint to release government-backed NFTs by the summer of 2022, but unfortunately has experienced delays.
The Royal Mint also worked on a previous blockchain-based project, in 2017, the government entity teased plans where it would use blockchain technology to track its gold supply.
UK Economic Secretary (HM Treasury) Andrew Griffifth came forth with a statement on Monday, saying plans for the Royal Mint NFT collection are not continuing “at this time”, but says that the proposal will remain under review.
Upon hearing of the project’s halt, Chair of the Treasury Select Committee Harriet Baldwin asked whether issuing an NFT would “remain the policy of his department,” citing economic uncertainty in the crypto sector as a reason why the project may be cancelled.
“We have not yet seen a lot of evidence that our constituents should be putting their money in these speculative tokens unless they are prepared to lose all their money,” said Baldwin. “So perhaps that is why the Royal Mint has made this decision in conjunction with the Treasury.”
While the UK is facing doubts around NFTs and Web3-based technologies, other countries have taken the opportunity to further efforts for digital integration.
Earlier this month, Hong Kong has made it clear that they’re ready to up their game as a fintech hub. In a statement made by the Hong Kong Secretary for Financial Services and the Treasury (SFST), at least 80 businesses are eager to set up shop in the territory – including teams and firms focused on NFTs.
Back in October, Japan announced plans to further invest in crypto, despite ongoing bad press. As part of their digital transformation strategy, Japan’s plans include issuing NFTs to local governments for administrative use, and expanding metaverse services.
Meanwhile, NFTs may be getting rougher treatment in the US – with the US Internal Revenue Service (IRS) considering creating a tax regime for collectibles. These collectibles include NFTs, which would be also considered alongside stamps, works of art, and fine wine.